Byron Pearman Howlett, Jr., died 18 Sep 15. He was a retired Colonel, U.S. Army, and retired Executive, USAA. Byron loved God, his family, and his country in very close order. He learned these things from a devoted family whose descendants went back to the American Revolutionary War.
Byron was born on July 1, 1929, in Charleston, MO, and moved with his family to Monticello, AR, when he was three. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1951 and was retained there as an Assistant Football Coach.
The Korean War was raging and he was soon drafted into service. After commissioning and flight training, he flew medical evacuation missions for 16 months in Korea. As he neared completion of his military obligation and thinking he would be returning to civilian life, he did graduate work at the Harvard Business School and received an MBA. It was at this point that he realized that he had felt strongly about serving his country and chose a military career over corporate. His duty assignments took him to three continents. His greatest pride came from serving with the men of DUSTOFF flying medevac missions in both Korea and Vietnam. He commanded a medical evacuation unit in the northern part of Vietnam and felt all these men were heroes. He earned many medals including the Silver Star.
He remained in the Army for 31 years and retired as the Assistant Commandant at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston. After military retirement he felt privileged to have a second career with USAA, which he considered one of the nation’s most honorable companies. He had served on the Boards of the DUSTOFF Association, MOAA, the Harvard Club of San Antonio, the USAA Golden Eagles, and the Bexar County Appraisal Review Board. He was a member of Sons of the American Revolution, was a lifelong lover of golf and a founding member of the Dominion Country Club.
Byron was a classic example of the values of his era in which integrity, frugality, and high moral values were not negotiable.